Album cover with dead dolphin on it.

Local Review: Olympic Deth – Nevada Homeslice

Local Music Reviews

Olympic Deth
Nevada Homeslice
¿Por Que No? Records
Street: 12.20
Olympic Deth =  Guided By Voices + Tera Melos x (Weatherday – all the whining)

It’s rare that something truly novel comes across your plate, especially when it’s tagged as “experimental.” The mind (my mind) immediately conjures images of a bunch of antisocial weirdos in a dingy basement space making music that sounds so bad that it hurts you. All of this is to say that when I saw the bloated dolphin corpse on the cover of Nevada Homeslice, I was prepared for a record that was both no fun at all and physically painful to listen to.

Imagine my delight in finding that Nevada Homeslice is an incredible joy to listen to, dripping and messy with the blood of life. Raw and idiosyncratic, but not in the way that so many experimentalists like to jump up on the table and scream “Look at me defying classification!” It’s a subtler thing than that, a sonic stylistic iridescence with glimmering shades of punk, garage rock, no wave, hypnagogic pop, emo and indie. The album is weird and unpredictable and a very, very fun at times even beautifullisten. 

The engineering is lo-fi, but never obscures or gets in the way of the musical intake. Rather than sounding brittle or far-away, the production has a sense of immediacyas if Olympic Deth had to strike while the iron was hot, not risking the slow death by compromises and re-recordings that can happen in the studio. 

The four-track styled guitar on songs like “I Wanna B My Girl” has the warm, full tone you rarely get without recording to tape. The crash cymbals (see track six, “Creatine”) form a thick, resonating carpet under the melody, and the snare sounds a bit like banging on an upended coffee can sometimes, which is brilliant. At times the vocals are manipulated and warped, like on the surprisingly electronic-tinged “$ecret”. It wasn’t until several listens in that I realized I had no idea what was being sung; the words are so shrouded in sound that it’s really only when the singer is shouting that you can pick up on the lyrics.

Of course, Olympic Deth’s hard angles might put some people off, but there are things on this album that are universal, thatand maybe I just have calloused eardrumswould sound good to anyone. The chorus of “Total Child Kid” is infectious and sunnymusic that you might drive to the beach to if you were a bit of a sicko, the car speakers blasting the repeating “I NEED SOMETHING FOR ME”. The musicianship itself is tight and impressive, and for all the apparent chaos, each track is a perfectly crafted thing. Even songs like “Viktory Cash” and the opening “Paw Paw Tree,” which are experimental and exploratory, are couched so seamlessly in the tracklist that they feel like actual morsels rather than momentary, indulgent diversions.

For the Olympic Deth day-ones,
Nevada Homeslice is a more ambitious release than the band’s 2022 EP, which is a bit more straight forward with its garage-punk stylings. It was also released on rusty orange cassette by Salt Lake’s ¿Por Que No? Records, a label specializing in noisy, lo-fidelity experimental music. For whoever can embrace the rawness of the presentation, Nevada Homeslice is a terrific and exciting release. It’s vital and brash, and I urge the hesitant listener to check it outmaybe it’s fun to be scared. –Tín Rodriguez

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